How to Provision a Dynamics 365 Portal the PowerApps Portal Way

A lot of folks with little to no experience with Dynamics 365 have been creating PowerApps Portals on vanilla CDS instances as a way to create externally PowerApps. What isn’t well known that PowerApps Portals evolved from Dynamics 365 Online Portals and before that, Adxstudio Portals.

If you still want to deploy an actual Dynamics 365 Portal such as Customer Self-Service, Partner, Employee Self-Service or Community Portal, you might still be tempted to login to the legacy Dynamics 365 Admin Center and deploy the Dynamics 365 Portal “the old way”.

A quick tip that was pointed out to me recently was that you can provision a Dynamics 365 Portal via https://make.powerapps.com that same way you would provision a vanilla CDS starter Portal.

Dynamics 365 Portals are PowerApps Portals with extra features to enhance the existing Dynamics 365 apps (and Portal SharePoint integration).

You will need a CDS that has the Dynamics 365 first party apps and solutions deployed. Unfortunately at this time, you need to specify this when you create your CDS database. You cannot add the Dynamics 365 Apps later (or remove them either).

Note that Dynamics 365 Apps are, in fact, model driven PowerApps.

Instead of choosing “Portal from Blank” on the main PowerApps page, instead click Create.

Create Dynamics 365 Portals from make.powerapps.com

In the search bar in the upper right corner, key in “Portal” and you should be shown the selection of Dynamics 365 PowerApps Portals Templates.

Assuming your CDS database has Dynamics 365 apps installed, you should see the Dynamics 365 PowerApps Portals templates.

Dynamics 365 Starter Portals

Once you select the template, the process will follow the same path as spinning up PowerApps Portals on a vanilla CDS environment. Note that the URL will be “<<uniquename>>.powerappsportals.com” and not “microsoftcrmportals.com”

The process will run anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or two. When complete, you should be able to navigate and edit your Dynamics 365 based PowerApps Portal using the new Portals Maker Studio and the Portals Management App.

Hopefully this saves you a bit of time!

Cover Photo by Todd MacDonald on Unsplash

Nick Doelman is a Microsoft Business Applications MVP and has been working with PowerApps (in their Dynamics 365/CRM form) since 2003. Follow Nick on twitter @readyxrm for updates on the Power Platform, Portals and other Microsoft technologies.

11 thoughts on “How to Provision a Dynamics 365 Portal the PowerApps Portal Way

  1. Good Morning, I ‘m using the customer self service portal .

    I registered an external superuser .

    I want to give the external super user the abilities to create or delete authorized user.

    The authorized have the duties to create incident ticket

    I wonder what is the best approach ?

    Do you have any suggestions ?

    Than you!

    Like

    1. My suggestion would be to spin up a trial and provision the Partner portal. It has the functionality to add users via the portal interface, so you can take a look at those web templates and replicate the functionality in your customer self service portal. I hope that helps!

      Like

  2. Hi Nick,
    many thanks for the article, it was very helpful and I can create a community portal for my production environment. However, when I switch to my sandbox, the community template can not be found
    Have you come across this?
    Many thanks!

    Like

    1. Hi David, my first thought would be if your sandbox environment doesn’t have the D365 apps installed on CDS then the only portal template available will be the CDS starter portal. When you create a new environment, there would have been an option to turn on D365 apps, unfortunately if don’t turn those on you can’t go back. That would be the first thing to look at. Does that make sense?

      Like

      1. Hi Nick,
        thanks for the reply.
        After configuring the P environment, the template decided to show up in the Q environment. Strange, but at least it works now 😉
        Best regards,
        David

        Like

  3. Hello,

    We have old portal installed on one of the CRM organization which need to be reused as a demo environment.
    Now we have power app portal used which we need to move to Demo org.
    To do the same we need to follow below steps:

    Option I:
    1] Uninstall old CRM portal (Need steps for the same)
    2] Install power app custom portal on Environment
    3] Perform deployment from Dev to Demo Org

    Option II:
    1] Convert existing custom CRM portal to Power app custom portal (Need steps for the same)
    2] Perform deployment

    Please suggest preferred option with the steps to implement the same

    thanks,
    Pallavi

    Like

    1. Option 1, step 1: https://readyxrm.blog/2019/09/20/how-to-revert-back-to-a-blank-powerapps-portal/

      step 2: go to make.powerapps.com and create a portal from blank for the environment

      step 3: https://readyxrm.blog/2018/07/07/move-dynamics-365-portal-configuration-data-using-the-xrmtoolbox/

      OR

      https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/portals/admin/migrate-portal-configuration

      Option II: Step 1 – no conversion needed. Your old portal should now be listed as a Power Apps Portal App.

      Option II: Step 2: See Option I: Step 3

      Like

  4. Hi Nick,
    I am trying to create a Dynamics 365 Portal (Customer Service) and every time I create it, it says it is provisioning and fails every time.
    I’ve searched the web and ensured I am system administrator, have CDS permissions and I can’t work out why I’m getting the errror.
    Any tips would be much appreciated 🙂

    Thanks
    Danielle

    Like

    1. Hi Danielle, sorry to hear you are having issues. In this case, I would open up a support ticket with Microsoft (you can do this in the Power Platform Admin center) https://aka.ms/ppac -> and choose “help and support”. The support engineers will be able to take a look what is happening behind the scenes and hopefully unblock whatever the issue is that is causing your portal provisioning to fail.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much for your quick reply. I shall get it logged with MS and see what they say. Thanks again.
        Danielle

        Like

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